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Problems with tickets?

Something about the way the Athletic Department is distributing tickets this year has spawned more complaints than last year from students who want tickets but feel they can’t get them because of the new system.

That has the ASUO nervous. What does the ASUO have to do with it? Well, it is the ASUO that the Athletic Department deals with in determining the number of tickets it gives to students, and the only direct, structural line of communication it has with the student body.

“This is the one thing that the student body knows us for right now,” Sen. Jeremy Blanchard said. “They don’t really connect their bus pases to the (student incidental fee, which pays for the ASUO), but they do connect this.” So, he later added: “We need to solve this.”

Under the new system, students are all required to log on at the same minute to get their tickets. Senate Ombudsperson Alex McCafferty, who sits on the Athletics and Contracts Finance Committee and is therefore in communication with the Athletic Department, said this then puts students in a queue to receive their tickets based on the order in which they sign on, and distributes tickets in that order.

Though McCafferty at times defended the new system during the Senate meeting, even he admitted, when Sen. Tyler Griffin proposed replacing the system with a lottery, that “I would make the argument that it’s already a lottery process, because it’s such a shot in the dark.”

Senators were in wide agreement that the new system causes chaos. Students with slow internet connections or on crowded networks, such as many who try to get their tickets from campus, seem incapable of obtaining them. Meanwhile, others lucky enough to be among the first to click can not only get their own tickets, but also sign in using friends’ information and get tickets for them, seemingly jumping to the front of the queue.

Sen. Demic Tipitiono said he used that method to get six tickets for himself and friends, and that every one of the 50 members of his fraternity got tickets from a handful who logged on correctly and then logged back in.

There were many proposals for fixing the system, but none with wide support. Going back to the pre-2008 system, under which students got their tickets physically from the University Ticketing Office in the EMU, would be impossible, Sen. Sandy Weintraub said. That system was scrapped because it led to students skipping classes to camp out in front of the EMU to ensure they got tickets, angering professors, who advocated the change.

The new system, however, by reducing the effort required to get tickets, has increased the number of students who try to get tickets, Weintraub said, which he hypothesized was the cause of any problems the ticket server may be having.

Aside from Griffin’s lottery proposal, the other major suggestion was going back to the 2008-09 system that staggered students by class, presumably because that would lead to shorter queues.

Sen. Sandy Weintraub — bravely, it must be said considering the backlash it has brooked in the past — proposed simply asking students to pay for their tickets individually, rather than under the ASUO’s group contract with the Athletic Department. That is, they wouldn’t be free in the sense that one would have to pay to obtain an individual ticket

Unpopular though it is likely to be, it is also the only proposal the ASUO is sure to be able to effect. The Athletic Department designed the ticketing system and has sole authority over how it will work. The ASUO only controls the number of tickets to be distributed. So far, Athletics has asked the ASUO for feedback.

“That’s kind of just the Athletic Departmet being really nice and giving us an opportunity to have a say in this,” McCafferty said.

Until then, his advice to students who want to ensure they will get tickets was this: cable connections are a better bet than wireless connections and students should stay away from areas where many students will be trying to get tickets, like the University campus. There’s seemingly little more the ASUO can offer.

  1. nike urbanism duk says:

    Photos of the inside of the athlete learning center are now posted online. To find them do a Google blog search using keywords “university of oregon alc”.

  2. FlipFlop!! says:

    Why is the OC all of the sudden supporting socialism for students? Where are your conservative principles now, biatches? If “conservative principles” really means “selfish principles” I guess it still makes sense. Get in line like everyone else. As a matter of fact, get rid of the student section altogether and sell the tickets at the same price the general public pays. The citizens of Eugene shouldn’t have to subsidize ASUO’s contract. Looks like you OC’ers are a bunch of hypocritical marxist whiners! You should be ashamed of even accepting those dirty socialist sports tickets.

  3. KB says:

    The solution is simple. Send the tickets to local FM radio stations, and let the wacky morning DJs distribute them out as prizes!

    Or, charge a nominal fee (say, $5 dollars?) for the tickets. This would be in addition to – or as a supplement to – the ASUO subsidy to the AD.

    Why a nominal fee? Well, because everyone loves free shit. They will line up for free rocks, as long as they are free. (whoops, wrong “Lottery” system) If you charge a small fee, suddenly people don’t give as big a fuck.

    Sell some season ticket packages during Summer, orientation and first weeks of school. Perhaps 75% of alottment?

    Then, leave some percentage (e.g. 25%, or a little over 1,000 tix) of student tickets to be picked up every week.

    That still doesn’t solve the problem of getting tickets the week of the game, but, again, this is where local morning DJs become vital.

  4. Neil says:

    My roommate and I were talking about a school that adds a “hurdle” to getting tickets that are in high demand (like football tickets.) I don’t remember what school it is, but I know that it seems like a good idea. First-priority tickets are given to students that have attended other athletic events on campus such as volleyball, soccer, cross country, track events etc. The more events a student has attended, the most likely they are to receive a ticket.

    My experience is that some students who get UO football tickets aren’t fans at all – they go to the game just to say they went. With that in mind, students that are real fans and who attend other sporting events are more likely to be loud, crazy, and make Autuzen an even more intimidating environment.

    What do we think?

  5. Kai Davis says:

    Dane, that rocks.

  6. Drew Cattermole says:

    dont spoil the cover

  7. CJ Ciaramella says:

    Can you please just post this picture as a separate blog post? Beautiful.

  8. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Smarter capitalists would roll the game t-shirts up and put tickets in several thousand of them. Then, students buy the shirt to get the “free” ticket.

    Willy Wonka saves the day.

  9. Gsim says:

    The real Gsim would never write anything so coherent and thoughtful as posted above did under this same handle.

    For the record:

    I think student tickets should, at a different random time, be dumped in a pile at the corner of University and 13th street a few days before the game. This would solve all the problems. Low overhead, no one to hire, no servers to maintain, no slow internets, no lines.

    The lucky, strong, clever and quick students get as many tickets as they can scoop up and the pathetic, weak, dim and slow students get nothing.

    Perfect system.

  10. C.T. Behemoth says:

    Ok. That is true. They could keep the same fee and spend it on something else, but then that would possibly be a point of contention for some? I don’t know. Regardless, I still like the idea of the AD embracing students because it makes sense to do so. It’s as “DUUUUH!” as making campus wet again and then raising millions of dollars via student debauchery. It’s not like making campus dry has kept the student body sober. Can’t a businessman like Das Frohn see the logic in such easy money!?

  11. To be fair, on the Reser comparison, unless I’m mistaken, Reser struggles to sell out most games, even with students getting in free. The Ducks, meanwhile, could probably sell out Autzen even if they charged students full-price.

    And CT Behemoth, I’d point out – for better or worse – that last year the ASUO dropped a $100,000+ contract from its docket and still increased the amount it spends on contracts by the maximum allowable under state law, so just purging the AD wouldn’t be a guarantee that the incidental fee would go down.

  12. C.T. Behemoth says:

    OR, the Athletic Department keeps the same ticket price that it negotiates with the ASUO and then sells the tickets to students at that price individually. You could put a max on how many a student could purchase (i.e. 2 tickets) that would keep people from monopolizing the process or sending their frat plebes to buy everyone a ticket.

    Face it, while Ducks fans are great and all…the student section is by far the heart and soul of every game that is played on this campus, regardless of the sport. Maintaining a healthy ratio for students is in the AD’s interest because the crowd actually plays a big role in home games.

    Throw in that you take the ASUO out of the process and reduce the I-fee for all…and it sounds like one hell of a plan to me. Plus, you get to take one trick away from the ASUO and actually make them work on meaningful things instead of having softballs like football tickets lobbed their way.

    The AD is financially independent, but don’t let that fool you. They’re only independent when it suits them. When it doesn’t suit them, they whine and complain about how bad they have it…especially with how the economy has gone sour and the state of Oregon is only giving them $1.54 million (FY 08-09) from its lottery pot-o’-gold. PLUS, they used to let UO entities use their facilities for free (i.e. flag football championship games). Not anymore. You see, they need the money.

    Before you think I’m ranting against them, I’m not. I get that sports is a big ticket item at the university and so long as it can’t keep professors because the pay is so sad, it continues to be administratively top-heavy, it continues to lag behind every ‘peer institution’, it continues to have shoddy infrastructure, and it continues to promote stupid policies like making campus dry (etc)….the U of O will be a place where football is one of the big draws for the university….and, unfortunately a big reason why people donate money to this place.

  13. Chris says:

    Considering how bad their current system is, it wouldn’t surprise me that it is a Pentium II in Belotti’s office.

    And it would be more expensive per student to have those who want to go to the game go, but not much more. The students already receive a subsidized rate for their tickets, and it’s coming out of fees they pay already. So an extra couple bucks shouldn’t prove too much an issue.

    The exact reason that the Athletic Department dislikes the student tickets, it lessens their revenue. And since the AD is financially independent of the school, football is their lifeblood.

    Maybe a better way would be to give out tickets based on GPA. What kind of havoc might that invoke?

  14. Maxwell says:

    Man I sure am glad I don’t go to bass-ackwards UO, I camp out at OSU every Sunday before a home game and get a fifty yard line ticket no worries. Autzen is larger than Reser and we have 6,000+ student tickets per game. Virtually anybody that really wants a ticket can get one without fail.

    Unfortunate to see that UO students may actually have to PAY FOR THEIR TICKETS. WTF is up with that? Students should be allowed into the games with no additional out-of-pocket expense. I pay $20,000 to go to school here, the least the school can do is give me a free ticket to the game!

    Sorry UO, but your school is screwing you guys.

  15. Vincent says:

    The problem is that it’s impossible to quantify how much an electronic system actually “costs.” Do you factor in electricity? Hardware/software upgrades? How much does it cost to keep someone (presumably a full-time staffer with paid benefits) on call during peak hours to ensure that the server(s) remain accessible? What sort of (if any) enterprise data backup systems (which don’t come cheaply) are they using?

    I honestly don’t know the answer to any of this, but I’d be willing to bet that the infrastructure and system they have in place currently consists of something more than just an old Pentium II running Apache on Linux sitting in the corner of Mike Belotti’s office.

  16. Lyzi says:

    Hey guys. Look at McCafferty’s comment. Sundays are not an option.

  17. Kai Davis says:

    Gsim said:

    Creating the electronic system for ticketing, including maintenance and start-up costs, has got to be more expensive than hiring 3 extra minimum wage lackeys to run a ticket office for 3 hours on a Sunday.


    Nope. How many Sundays would those 3 extra lackeys be working? Even if the breakeven time in cost is years out, I have to suspect that over the lifetime the electronic system will cost less than having 3 minimum wage goons staffing the ticket office for each game.

  18. Betz says:


  19. Gsim says:

    Creating the electronic system for ticketing, including maintenance and start-up costs, has got to be more expensive than hiring 3 extra minimum wage lackeys to run a ticket office for 3 hours on a Sunday.

    Arguing that the Athletic Dept. doesn’t want control over student ticketing is wrong.

  20. Alex McCafferty says:

    Ding ding ding.

    Actually, the employees of the UO ticket office are in a union that prohibits them to work on sunday. Before you point fingers make sure you get the facts.

  21. Betz says:

    I don’t know if I buy that answer that the Athletic Dept. wants control over student’s money. To what end? The athletic dept. is completely separate from the academic institutions of the UO (or, ought to be, as some articles from last year in the ODE were challenging that statement), and so wouldn’t be able to express any real authority or influence on the rest of campus.

    The ASUO negotiates a contract with the Athletic Dept. every year to purchase an allotment of tickets at a reduced price than their original face value. So, in a sense, the Athletic Dept. would be losing money by negotiating this contract, rather than if they had sold those tickets for their net face value. Considering that Autzen Stadium almost always seems to sell out to maximum capacity, I don’t think that the ticketing office would be in trouble of not selling all of the student tickets.

    I like the idea of just ditching the contract entirely, and have students purchase the tickets themselves from the Athletic Dept. The cost of buying the tickets (assuming you go to all home games) would be greater than the cost of obtaining the tickets through paying the iFee to support the ASUO contract, but I think the real savings would be in relieving just about all of the pain points of the former ticketing systems: virtually every student that wanted a ticket could get one; students wouldn’t skip class to obtain tickets; you wouldn’t have to camp out to get them.; it would be a defined and orderly process, instead of the crapshoot that many students feel now. Most importantly, it would relieve the burden of responsibility from the ASUO to the student. Students that don’t care about football or don’t go to the games (blasphemers and heretics, all!) wouldn’t have to pay to support the contract.

    Second favorite plan: camping out. I did it – it DOES work.

  22. Dane says:

    This may be too simple. Why not have the students pick up their tickets on Sunday afternoon say at 2 pm?

    Ding ding ding.

    The problem with this is that the Athletic Department just wants more control over your money.

    Simple solutions doesn’t give them complete control.

  23. Vincent says:

    Thanks for that interesting, well-informed and on-topic comment.

  24. Rory says:

    Did you know the word “conservative” is french for “Delusional”. As in, you have to be delusional to still think that conservative republican views are at all viable after the years 2001 to 2008.

    I mean really folks, you had everything you could ever want, GOP pres, senate, congress, and the result was almost complete destruction of an economy that took 232 years to build. Wake up call!!!

  25. Rockne Andrew Roll says:

    Fancy technology is overrated. If you want tickets, get in line like people in the real world. As in stand in line, bring chairs, bring a tent if you have to. It works up here.

  26. donalduck says:

    This may be too simple. Why not have the students pick up their tickets on Sunday afternoon say at 2 pm?

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